This week I got to rewatch one of my favorite movies called Cape fear. In fact, I watched both versions. In doing a little bit of research to prepare for writing this blog post, I found that both movies were based on a novel called the Executioners that was written by John De McDonald in 1957.
I Watched the original 1962 version of Cape fear starring John Mitchum. And then I watched the newer remake version by Martin score Skizzy starring Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte. I cannot decide which one I like better.
I never thought of Cape fear as being a psycho movie. More of an obsessed revenge movie. But when you delve into the mechanics of the story, we do see that the killer in essence was a psychopath.
A quick recap on the storyline is that a dangerous man Max Cady is convicted of rape and battery of a 16-year-old girl and is put away in prison. Max Caity‘s lawyer a man named Sam Bowden hides evidence that could have exonerated Max Caity of these horrific crimes.
Sam Bowden believes that his client is illiterate and will never come to find out about his withholding of the evidence. Once Max Caity is released we quickly realize that he spent his time in prison pursuing an education in law and has become somewhat of an expert in the legal system. And, he is aware that Bowden withheld the evidence.
Max Caity sets out on a mission to destroy Sam Bowden’s life in an obsession with revenge. Max Caity is a psychopath driven by anger, resentment, and revenge. This is a dangerous and deadly combination.
I love the story because it takes a man who’s already bad and fuels his rage and pushes him to the outer limits of his already psychopathic disposition. It also shows how a man such a Sam Bowden can cross the line and then completely forget about the line he has crossed. He is oblivious to its effect on the life or lives of the people involved.
This story does an amazing job at building suspense and driving the story forward in a heart-pumping roller-coaster ride that kept me on the edge of my seat every time I have watched this film. This will continue to be one of my favorite top 20 movies both the old version and the new version for many years to come.